Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Mass Demonstrations in Oaxaca

Mass Demonstrations in Oaxaca

June 21, 2016

 

Mass demonstrations have occurred regularly in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Some of the recent demonstrations have turned violent.  Protestors have blocked major highways to and from the city of Oaxaca.  Due to these blockades, trucks are unable to enter the city and some areas are experiencing food and fuel shortages.  There are also reports of looting.  Public transportation has suspended intermittently due to the violence and fuel shortages.  While no problems have been reported at Oaxaca’s international airport, protestors may block access at any time.  Until further notice, non-essential travel to the state of Oaxaca is prohibited for U.S. Government personnel with the exception of travel to Huatulco/Puerto Escondido by air only.  In Huatulco/Puerto Escondido, U.S. Government personnel must remain in the Bahias de Huatulco and the City of Puerto Escondido.  If you decide to travel to Huatulco/Puerto Escondido, we encourage you to contact your hotel ahead of time regarding the availability of basic supplies.  The Oaxaca consular agency remains open.  For emergencies, U.S. citizens should contact the Embassy switchboard by calling 01-555-080-2000 and ask for American Citizens Services or the duty officer. 

The Embassy cautions all U.S. citizens to avoid protests, and are reminded that even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent.

·        The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners.  Such actions may result in detention and/or deportation.  Travelers should avoid political demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by the Mexican authorities.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Demonstrators in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major arteries, or take control of toll booths on highways.  U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any protests.

 

·         Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

 

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.travel.state.govSTEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. 

 

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Mexico, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, D.F. and is open 8:00am to 5:00pm, switchboard phone number (dialing from the United States) 011-52-555-080-2000, (dialing from Oaxaca) 01-555-080-2000, https://mx.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/emergency-contact/.  The Oaxaca consular agency is located at Macedonio Alcala No. 407, Interior 20, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, C.P. 68000.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, please dial the Embassy switchboard number and ask to speak to an American Citizen Services staff member for assistance.